Published On: Tue, Mar 13th, 2018

Curaçao strengthens ties with Aruba and St. Maarten; Prime Ministers of these three islands meet

3PMs 12mar2018WILLEMSTAD - Prime Minister Eugene Rhuggenaath has the honor to welcome the government leaders of St. Maarten Mrs. Leona Marlin-Romero and Aruba, Mrs. Evelyn Wever-Croes here in Curaçao to conduct high-level discussions on several topics of interest. The vision of Government Rhuggenaath is to strengthen, more than ever, the ties which already exist between Curaçao, Aruba and St. Maarten now that all the three islands are autonomous in the Kingdom. The vision is also to enter a new era of collaboration in various areas, common topics of importance like integrity, human resources in the government apparatus, legislation but also sustainable social-economic development and health.

Integrity is high on the agenda

For Curaçao, Aruba and St. Maarten the topic that has more priority is the policy on integrity which is essential for combating illegal practices and the negative impact this has on each of the countries. St. Maarten is in the process to come up with a so-called integrity chamber. Curaçao is in a well-advanced phase with its own integrity bureau which will be in charge of awareness, investigation and sanctions against illegal practices in the public sector. Together with Aruba, which also initiated a trajectory of integrity, Curaçao will continue investigating the possibilities to share knowledge, resources and ways to collaborate on an integrity policy for each island.

Support for St. Maarten

Prime Minister Eugene Rhuggenaath and Prime Minister Leona-Marlin also discussed how the islands can collaborate to stimulate development. The Government of St. Maarten is working hard on reconstruction after Hurricane Irma left a disaster behind. Both government leaders spoke about a disaster policy between all the islands in the Kingdom so each one can be on the same line of communication and can better support on another during and after a calamity.

Director of Risk and Calamity Management Mr. Lesley Fer gave a presentation on possible ways the islands can improve their cooperation. The islands agreed to an exchange between calamity entities in Curaçao and St. Maarten. The Prime Minister of St. Maarten spoke with the Curaçao Minister of Finance Kenneth Gijsbertha on his financial policies. She also spoke with the Minister of Health, Environment and Nature, Suzanne Camelia-Römer.

Relation Aruba and Curaçao with Venezuela

The Prime Ministers of Curaçao and Aruba also spoke about the relation their islands have with Venezuela which has a major impact on the economy of both islands. Both Curaçao and Aruba are trying on their own and together to end the border closure imposed by the Venezuelan government. The Ministers are constantly in deliberation and will continue to keep each other informed and exchange information on the latest developments. Also on the migration policy for Venezuelans, the operations of the Refinery in Curaçao, and the perspectives for the refinery in Aruba. Prime Minister Wever-Croes also met with the Minister of Government Policy, Planning and Service and Minister of Social Development, Labor and Welfare.

Trilateral consultation

The three Prime Ministers agreed that they will continue talking about a more formal mechanism to work together on a regular basis. They will continue talking about the topics discussed during this meeting and monitor the progress of the agreements.

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